Nothing makes us more excited to get up and go than putting together our annual Hot List of the best new hotels, cruises, restaurants, cultural destinations, and transportation projects. Now in its 27th year, this curated collection is a labor of love for our global team, which spends the year researching, visiting, and vetting the entries to bring you a definitive directory of places whose style, ethos, and service set new standards for hospitality. This year’s best new hotels in Africa and the Middle East range from the sprawling mega-resorts of the UAE to the forested safari camps of Botswana. All that’s left is for you to decide where you’re going first.
Fairmont Tazi Palace Tangier — Morocco
Integrating opulence in just the right measure is a difficult task, but this five-star hotel (once home to the king’s advisor) pulls it off perfectly. After you enter the building with its cream-colored walls, you’ll find yourself in the lobby, a luminous space with nearly 40-foot ceilings. It’s the first hint that this hotel does everything in style: from the eight acres of landscaped grounds to the dramatic lamps that illuminate the corridor leading to the Crudo restaurant and the photogenic swimming pool, where you’ll lose track of time under the Mediterranean sun. The hotel’s 133 rooms are an amalgam of elements that celebrate the country’s craft traditions with fretwork wooden screens, mosaics, and bespoke fabrics created by local artisans. The Fairmont Tazi Palace’s massive wellness center includes 10 treatment rooms, a private spa, a solarium, a hammam you won’t want to leave, and sunny Andalusian-style gardens that lead to a secluded vitality pool. Let yourself unwind before refueling at one of the four restaurants, where ingredients are pulled from the hotel’s own orchard and kitchen garden. Rooms from $370. —Lidia González